We have a cat – a rather rotund black-and-white female moggy who predates both our kids and has never really gotten over the arrival of two rambunctious boys into our formerly quiet household.
Despite being unbelievably lazy, she’s a well-travelled cat. We acquired her as a kitten from an animal rescue charity when DH and I were newly-weds, living in Florida. My husband named her Chandelle, which I know makes her sound like a voluptuous porn star but is, in fact, an aviation manoeuvre (don’t ask me what!).
She went on a three-day road trip from Florida to Minnesota when we moved to Minneapolis, then flew half-way round the world – via a pet hotel in Amsterdam – when we relocated to the Middle East.
Quite a long way for a cat, no? Well, she’s made up for it since by staying put – on our bed. She hardly moves, except for when she’s chased by one of our boys. So content is Chandelle to spend her days lolling on our bedsheets that I actually designed the bedroom to match her. She blends quite well with the black-and-white print of the throw, don’t you think?
For somewhere that gets really very hot in the summer, Dubai is home to loads of pets. You’d be surprised how many people own cats and dogs here – as well as more exotic animals such as lions and tigers (seriously!).
Being Dubai, pampered pets are well catered for, with pooch pedicures, organic shampoos and conditioners, Fursace doggy bags and designer dog gowns just some of the luxuries available at high-end pêt-à-porter boutiques. For £2,000, you can even indulge your pet with a Swarovski crystal-encrusted wooden bed, complete with velvet sheets on which you can have your dog’s name engraved.
Expats are content with feline and canine friends – although we had quite a shock when an escaped giant iguana appeared at our patio door, so big our housemaid was convinced it was a crocodile and started taking photos. But, in Emirati circles, larger exotic animals have always found willing buyers. Lately, illegal African cheetahs have become popular pets among those rich enough to afford one.
I mentioned before that my boss at work peered into a car on National Day at what they thought was a funny-looking dog, but turned out to be an adolescent lion. Well, it’s happened again and here’s the proof. This picture of a tiger hanging out of a car window was taken in the Marina Promenade area and caused a frenzy on social media sites this week … Lovable? Hmm, I’m not sure.